Expert advice

Medicines management: Should I still advise patients to finish a course of antibiotics?

Despite a call from experts for patients to stop taking antibiotics when they feel better, nurses should still advise patients to complete the course of treatment, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths.
antibiotics

Despite a call from experts for patients to stop taking antibiotics when they feel better, nurses should still advise patients to complete the course of treatment, says medicines management expert Matt Griffiths

In a recent article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a respected group of experts including infectious disease specialists and microbiologists discussed whether patients should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better.

They argued there is little evidence that failing to complete a prescribed course of antibiotics contributes to antimicrobial resistance, and advice to complete the course should be dropped.

This caused some controversy, as it contradicts the advice health professionals give to patients – backed by the World Health Organization – to complete the entire course of prescribed antibiotics.

Need for caution

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